Keeping the House by Ellen Baker

Back book cover: When Dolly Magnuson moves to Pine Rapids, Wisconsin, in 1950, she discovers that making marriage work is harder than it looks in the pages of the Ladies’ Home Journal. Dolly tries to adapt to her new life by keeping the house, supporting her husband’s career, and joining the Ladies Aid quilting circle. Soon her loneliness and restless imagination are seized by a vacant house, owned by the once-prominent Mickelson family. As Dolly’s life and marriage become increasingly difficult, she begins to lose herself in piecing together the story of the Mickelson men and women – and unravels dark secrets woven through the generations of a family. As Keeping the House moves back and forth in time, it eloquently explores themes of heroism and passion, of men’s struggles with fatherhood and war, and of women’s conflicts with issues of conformity, identity, forbidden dreams, and love.
Keeping the House is an old-fashioned family saga that takes place over the first half of the last century. It tells the story of three generations of the Mickelson family. Author Ellen Baker made me feel as though I was part of the quilting circle – learning the story of the most prominent family in Pine Rapids. It was a page-turner that kept me wondering ’til the last page how things would turn out. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good story.